The Olathe School District, nationally recognized for academic excellence, is the fastest growing school district in the Kansas City area. Known for its innovative teaching practices and continuous growth, the district is committed to providing quality education for students of all grade levels. In order to meet demand and ease overcrowding, the district brought on Henderson Engineers to design the building systems for their tenth middle school. The newest middle school, adapted from Olathe’s most recently completed junior high, features a familiar and functional layout, complete with classrooms for each grade level with shared common areas. The building also provides students with two gymnasiums, a natatorium, fine arts and special programs, a theatre/auditorium, a cafeteria, and administrative areas.
Our team designed the systems for the flexible spaces that facilitate interactive learning. The “learning stair,” a 21st-century learning tool, doubles as a stairway and collaboration zone for interactive learning. The shared common areas also add to the functionality of the building by promoting interaction and connections between students and staff. In addition, we incorporated sound system design in both gymnasiums that enhances learning environments, increases school spirit, and provides open communication to everyone in the gym. Thinking ahead to the long-term growth, Henderson designed the systems in the main two-story classroom wing for possible future expansion, so that the ever-increasing Olathe School District can continue to provide students with the highest quality education.